What if Planet 9 was hidden in TESS data?

What if Planet 9 was hidden in TESS data?

The research team proposes to rely on an exoplanet hunter, TESS, to find a mysterious "planet 9.

In 2017, astronomers realized that the movements of some objects outside Neptune suggest the existence of a possible "nine planet." This hypothetical world will be 10 times larger than the Earth and will follow a long eccentric orbit around the Sun. This very dark planet is now invisible to us. But soon we can count on the support of a new instrument: TESS.

"Digital follow-up"


This method is very interesting in the search for remote exoplanets. Unfortunately, the technique is not suitable with this hypothetical "planet 9." Just because it doesn't pass in front of the sun, in our view.

On the other hand, in order to explore these possible brilliance failures, TESS takes many photographs of the same part of the sky over different periods of time.

With this technique, when you build these images, dark objects can appear more and more visible, so it seems useful to search for this mysterious planet.

However, it should also be borne in mind that this world is in motion, so you must first evaluate the potential orbit and then take some photographs after the given orbit. Then only you compile images to analyse the results.

Can Tess do that?

Technology seems a little risky in the sense that we have no idea about the orbit of this potential planet, but it's not worth trying. After all, the Hubble telescope has already used this method to detect several objects outside Neptune.

It is not yet known whether TESS can do this. Studies have shown that planet 9, if it exists, will have a visible value between 19 and 24 . Some known transneptun objects have similar values, such as Cedna.

By digital tracking of these objects using the TESS satellite, they are gradually being detected. They remain unclear but well recognized. This means that TESS is actually powerful enough to detect the presence of "planet 9." Again, if it exists.

It is not known whether the method will be implemented or not. After all, TESS already has a lot of work to do, especially since the mission should only last about two years, but the discovery of such a planet on the edge of our system would be very interesting.